Tips from the culture desk: Films across Egypt and a short Zamalek art festival

The Panorama of the European Film is probably the main culture headliner this week, spreading out in four of Egypt’s cities. There’s also an intriguing looking four-hour art festival however, organized by the art faculties in Zamalek and apparently the first of its kind. Also, the Netherlands Flemish Institute in Cairo chooses another great film this week, and there’s some high-energy Arabic reggae on Thursday. This is also last a chance to catch Shady Elnoshokaty’s solo exhibition at Cairo’s Gypsum Gallery, which ends Thursday with a talk by the artist at 7pm.

Harag W’ Marag — Sunday

Nadine Khan’s wonderful first feature, Harag W’ Marag (Chaos, Disorder, 2012), is screening at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth catching on the big screen because it’s an understated masterpiece, as we say in our “cinematic gem.” Set in a mysterious village in rural Egypt, the film tells a seemingly allegorical story of thugs and love in a small, isolated community, with a sense of humor and careful craftsmanship.

7:30 pm, November 22. Free entry, but arrive early to get a seat. 1 Dr. Mahmoud Azmi Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

The Panorama of the European Film — starts Wednesday

It’s that time of year again, hot on the heels of the Cairo International Film Festival, for the eighth edition of the always exciting  Panorama of the European Film, organized by Misr International Films and this year taking place in Alexandria, Tanta and Minya as well as Cairo. See our fuller piece on what to expect here.

Meshwar — Thursday

Known for their high energy, Arabic-reggae fusion, Meshwar take to Rawabet’s stage to spread their signature “music for peace.” Formed in 2011, the nine-member band plays across a lively instrumentation of vocals (Ahmed Yousef), percussions (Waleed Abdo), brass instruments (Mohamed Labib, Solly), drums (Ahmed Tito), guitars (Mohamed Diab, Mahmoud Fawzy), and keys (Mohamed Youssef). Their music is fun, feel-good reggae that usually leaves the audience dancing languidly and happily from the first slap of the bass to the last blows of the brass instruments. 

November 26 from 6:30 to 10 pm. Tickets LE25, Facebook page here.

Zamalek First Art Festival — Saturday

Students from the arts education, fine art and music education faculties of Helwan University, all situated within the same small geographic triangle of Zamalek, are coming together in collaboration with the Zamalek Neighborhood Association to present art and music on Zamalek’s streets and in the various faculties. They say on Facebook that this is an attempt by students to bring arts directly to the streets and promote the role of art in society, but it’s difficult to work out more details about the event. We think this may be interesting to catch, though, since it’s not often that students of these faculties collaborate or host an outdoor event. And it might even give us a rare chance to look around the faculties themselves.

November 28, starting 11 am near the Fine Arts School on Mohamed Thaqeb Street, Zamalek, Cairo. See Facebook page here.